Alternatives news roundup: Japan banks seek investing risk; US PE fund to sell Apac assets

KKR and Tiga Investments by a Hong Kong workspace provider; Unison Capital of Japan establishes $500m India vehicle; some Japanese banks turning to riskier assets, including private equity and real estate; Korea's NPS adds timberland to investment portfolio; US private equity fund Denham Capital seeking to sell Australian and Asian assets; and more.
Alternatives news roundup: Japan banks seek investing risk; US PE fund to sell Apac assets


Hansen Technologies on Monday (June 7) received a conditional and non-binding buyout proposal from private equity firm BGH Capital in a deal that values the billing solutions provider at A$1.3 billion ($1 billion), sending its shares to a record high.

BGH’s offer of A$6.50 in cash per share represents a premium of 25.5% to the company’s last closing price. Hansen’s board backed the pitch and said it had granted the private equity firm exclusivity for six weeks and due diligence access.

The company said Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hansen had separately struck a deal with BGH to vote his 17.5% stake in favour of a formal bid from the private equity firm during the exclusivity period.

Source: Reuters


Hong Kong-based flexible workspace provider The Executive Centre has been acquired by private-equity firm KKR and Tiga Investments for an undisclosed amount, the company announced on June 2.

The acquisition indicates the confidence of investors in the flexible office space segment, according to analysts, even as the likes of US-based WeWork have been giving up space in Hong Kong. WeWork has reduced its footprint by more than half since the coronavirus pandemic triggered widespread work-from-home arrangements last year.

The consortium of KKR and Singapore-based Tiga acquired its stake from funds advised by HPEF Capital Partners and CVC Capital Partners, which owned 70% and 20% of TEC respectively. HPEF was an investor in TEC since 2005, and CVC since 2014.


Japanese private equity firm Unison Capital established a $500 million India-focused investment vehicle. The fund will invest into quasi-sovereign wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)’s fund of funds, as well as make direct investments in partnership with local players to tap local expertise.

It aims to raise around $500 million, primarily from Japanese institutional investors. It is the first independent Japanese investor to enter the South Asian nation.

Source: Nikkei Asia


Norway’s sovereign wealth fund Norfund invested $7.5 million in Indonesian peer-to-peer lender Amartha. The company, which was founded in 2010, focuses on empowering women micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas. It claims to have a loan repayment rate of 99.86%.

Amartha will use the latest fund to extend loans to entrepreneurs who are building their businesses keeping in mind climate change and environmental issues. It also plans to launch savings and microinsurance products.

The latest injection brings Amartha’s total raised so far this year to $85.5 million. Investors include Women’s World Banking and MDI Ventures, Mandiri Capital and UOB Ventures.

Source: DealStreetAsia


Some Japanese lenders are turning to riskier assets, including foreign bonds, real estate and private equity, just as expectations ratchet up for higher interest rates in places like the US. The companies, which often rely on domestic fixed-income investments, now need to consider a variety of higher-yielding assets -- but that comes with potentially larger risks.

Banks are likely to invest more in “non-traditional areas,” including real estate assets through investment trusts, said Nana Otsuki, expert director and chief analyst at Monex.

MUFG said it will consider investing in alternative assets such as private equity and real estate funds in the U.S. and other places. Concordia Financial Group Ltd., one of Japan’s largest regional banking groups, is going to invest in Treasuries and mortgage bonds this year, given the lower returns on Japanese bonds, President Yasuyoshi Oya said last month.

Source: Bloomberg

Japan’s first ESG-focused global venture capital fund, MPower Partners Fund L.P., was launched on May 31, committing limited partners including Dai-ichi, Sompo Holdings, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Group alongside other global investorsThe target of capital commitments is anticipated to be $150 million.

It will focus on investments into growth-to late-stage Japanese startups, and the remainder into earlier-stage overseas startups, in industries such as healthcare, fintech, next-generation work, education, consumer, and environment. General partners of the fund include former vice chairwoman of Goldman Sachs Kathy Matsui.

Source: PRWeb


The National Pension Service added exposures to timberland and the European mid-market tech sector in the first quarter of this year, adding two British investment firms -- Apax Partners and Stafford Capital Partners -- as its new outside managers, according to its recent public disclosure.

The pension scheme is believed to have committed between $200 million and $300 million to Apax Partners' 10th flagship fund that raised $11 billion at the final close.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

Savills Investment Management is taking its penchant for Korean partners to another level after its parent company agreed to sell a 25% stake in the fund manager to Seoul-based insurance giant Samsung Life for £63.75 million ($90.4 million).

The deal values the unit of London-based property services firm Savills Plc at over $360 million. Under the terms announced Thursday, South Korea’s biggest insurer will also commit $1 billion in capital to Savills IM’s investment strategies over the initial four years of the relationship, which the parties describe as a strategic investment alliance.

Source: Mingtiandi

The board of directors of Samsung Life Insurance approved on May 28 a plan to invest W1.18 trillion ($1.06 billion) in Samsung SRA Savills Specialized Investment-Type Private Equity Trust through Samsung SRA Asset Management.

The move came after the largest life insurer in Korea acquired a 25% stake in Savills Investment Management, the investment arm of real estate service company Savills on May 27.

Source: Business Korea

Korean Teachers' Credit Union (KTCU) committed £100 million ($142 million) to a UK-focused real estate debt fund as an anchor investor, according to investment banking sources on May 31.

The debt fund is managed by New York-based BentallGreenOak. It has received a combined £170 million in commitments from three Korean institutions, including KTCU, a $30 billion savings fund for school employees.

The blind pool fund, targeting around W1.5 trillion ($1.3 billion), is investing in real estate secured loans of office buildings as well as logistics and data centers in major cities in the UK. It targets an annual return of 9% with an investment period of 10 years.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily


Singapore’s GIC led a Series C funding in Indian supply chain tech firm Locus according to a press release shared by the sovereign wealth fund. Venture capital investors Qualcomm Ventures, Tiger Global and Falcon Edge also participated.

The startup will use the latest funding towards product innovation, geographical expansion and talent development. It has offices in the US, UK, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Germany.

Source: PRNewswire

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC invested $75 million in Indian logistics startup Delhivery through its subsidiary Gamnat. The $277 million round was led by US fund house Fidelity and also saw the participation of UK investor Ballie Gifford and Abu Dhabi’s Chimera.

The latest funding brings Delhivery’s valuation to $3 billion. The unicorn company announced it was looking to raise go public in 2021 or 2022.

Source: DealStreetAsia

Temasek invested in subsidiary asset management company SeaTown’s new $1 billion private capital fund. The fund was set up to invest in growth-stage opportunities globally and began deploying funds in January 2020. Its investments include GoTo, the new entity formed by the merger between Indonesian unicorns Gojek and Tokopedia.

SeaTown is part of Seviora Holdings, established in October 2020 to group Temasek’s four asset management companies, which also include Azalea Investment Management, Fullerton Fund Management Company and InnoVen Capital.

Source: DealStreetAsia

Temasek invested in Chinese IT company Xforceplus Information Technology in an extended Series C round. The latest funding brings the company’s total raised in its Series C round to $200 million. Temasek previously led a $100 million first Series C tranche in 2019. Other investors include the US’s Dragoneer Investment Group and China’s Hillhouse Capital and Eastern Bell Capital.          

Xforceplus’s services include supply chain information and VAT invoice management solutions. The company said it would use the latest injection for client acquisition, collaborations, and research and development.

Source: DealStreetAsia


US private equity fund Denham Capital is looking to sell A$1 billion ($773.5 million) worth of Australian and Asian assets, including renewable energy assets held by its Singapore-based platform Nexif Energy.

Through Nexif, the Houston-based investor owns renewable energy assets in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia. Among them is the 464-megawatt (MW) Lincoln Gap wind farm near Port Augusta in South Australia, which is due to be fully completed by end-2021. The platform is also developing an 80-MW nearshore wind project in Vietnam together with Ratch Group and a 154-MW gas turbine peaking power plant in Australia.

Denham Capital has hired JP Morgan to assist it in the sale.

Sources: The Australian; Renewables Now

Minnesota State Board of Investments, the agency responsible for the investment management of various state retirement funds, approved a $300 million commitment to US investor Blackstone’s second Asia-focused private equity fund, Blackstone Capital Partners Asia II.

The fund is targeting a $6 billion final close and will invest in large-scale control buyouts of growth businesses in India, China, Korea, Japan, Australia, and Southeast Asia. It reached a first close of $3.1 billion in April, exceeding the $2.4 billion it raised for its first Asia-focused private equity fund in 2018.

The allocation is part of $1.35 billion approved in May by Minnesota SBI toward private markets commitments. In February, Minnesota SBI also committed $150 million to KKR’s fourth Asia-focused buyout vehicle, KKR Asian Fund IV. As of December 31, 2019, Minnesota SBI’s assets have a market value of $104.3 billion.

Source: DealStreetAsia

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